27-01-’06 • Tom Orr

Izaline Calister

The first thing you hear is the tinkling of a triangle, joined by the low end melodic plunking of a marimbula rumba box. That this is going to be a rhythmically alive CD becomes apparent, and once strings and the crisp warble of Izaline Calister’s voice enter the scene, the reality that things are going to be plenty sweet takes hold as well.

Calister was born on the Dutch Antillean island of Curacao, studied business in the Netherlands and performed with noted European ensembles Dissidenten and Pili Pili (in which she replaced Angelique Kidjo) before going solo. Kriyoyo (‘Creole?’) is her third release, splendid in its free-flowing African-based rhythms, Antillean-rooted melodies and gently swaying ballads. The songs range from the oddly beautiful textured groove of the opening ‘Awaseru’ (‘Rain’) to the cheeky ‘Mi Sopi’ (‘My Soup’) and the suffer-no-fools tone that lubricates the kick of ‘Redashi’ (‘Gossip’). Calister’s admiration of such singers as Diane Reeves and Elis Regina is evident in her assured vocal style, bringing out the best of both the hip-swaying and reflective moments of this marvelous disc.